Cal/OSHA Board Revises Heat Safety Rules

California Farm Bureau Federation masthead
Source: California Farm Bureau Federation
By Christine Souza?Assistant Editor

By a unanimous vote, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved revisions to the state’s heat illness prevention standard last week that agricultural organizations said will add clarity to the rules.

Modifications to the standard approved last Thursday add high-heat provisions for five industries, including agriculture, and clarify the shade requirement, including a “shade up” temperature trigger and limited exception to that requirement.

California became the first state in the nation to develop a regulation to protect employees from heat illness. First issued as an emergency regulation in 2005, the standard was made permanent in 2006. The regulation requires employers to provide outdoor employees with drinking water, shade breaks and training in heat-illness prevention. Employers also must have written compliance and emergency-response procedures.

The California Farm Bureau Federation said it will continue its training and outreach to ensure farm employers understand and comply with the standard.
“Farm Bureau and other organizations will continue doing all we can to educate farmers, farm employees and their supervisors about how to avoid heat illness. In the past several years, we have trained farmers and supervisors who work with some 400,000 farm employees,” said Bryan Little, CFBF director of labor affairs and chief operating officer of Farm Employers Labor Service. “We have distributed hundreds of thousands of heat-safety cards and posted heat-safety information at work sites and on water coolers, and we have run heat-safety announcements on Spanish-language radio stations.”

Revisions to the standard include the following: Continue reading Cal/OSHA Board Revises Heat Safety Rules

15 FREE Healthcare Apps for Android Phones

heart rate app for Android phones
An App with Heart

Whether you’re a medical professional subscribing to important updates or just want to monitor your glucose levels, there are more apps available almost everyday for your favorite smart phone. All the news about great apps used to be all about the iPhone. Now, Google’s open-source Android operating system has grown into a formidable player in the world of smartphones.

And with the growth in its user base has come a flood of apps. While the quantity of apps available in the Android Market isn’t in the same league as what iPhone users can find in the Apple App Store, the quality certainly is there. With a little help from Google and an app developer or two, FierceMobileHealthcare has compiled a list of free and interesting healthcare-related apps that help make the lives of healthcare professionals and patients a little easier. Click on any of the links below to get started.

1. Epocrates Rx
2. Calculate by QxMD
3. PubMed Mobile
4. Skyscape Medical Resources
5. Relief Central
6. Mini Nurse – Lite
7. Hospital Intel
8. USA Graduate School: Medical
9. National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines
10. iTriage Mobile Health
11. Heart Rate Monitor
12. Glucose Meter
13. MedPage Today Mobile
14. Prescriber’s Letter
15. FierceMarkets

Related Slideshows:

15 Free Healthcare Apps for the BlackBerry
15 Free Healthcare Apps for the iPhone

All Salads Are Not Healthy Choices!

Panera Bread Salad Nutrition

Photo Courtesy of Panera Bread , Salad Review Text: Holley Grainger, MS, RD

More than ever, people are looking for healthy meal choices, even when it’s “fast food.” Of course our doctors and our nurse practitioner encourage their patients to make healthy eating part of their lifestyle. Lucky for us we have a Panera Bread practically next door to us here at Miller and Betteravia in Santa Maria. But, as much as we love Panera, there’s a big difference on the “healthfulness scale,” between salads on their menu.

Thumbs Up: Panera Bread Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad (pictured)
This bright and colorful salad is filled with phytochemicals thanks to a healthy dose of strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, and pineapple. One bowlful delivers a helping of antioxidants to keep your heart healthy. A serving of chicken makes it super satisfying too—for only 280 calories and 8 grams of fat. Ask for a reduced-fat vinaigrette or dressing on the side. We like their reduced-fat balsamic vinaigrette for just another 60 calories and 5 grams of fat.

Thumb’s Down: Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Salad
While this salad sounds healthy and fresh, the Asiago Croutons jack up the stats to 770 calories, 47 grams of fat, and 1200 milligrams of sodium. Leave off the croutons and you’ll shave 340 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 650 milligrams of sodium.


Old sign that says "Notice! Whooping Cough in this House"
Warning Signs of an Epidemic?


Date: 8/2/2010

Contact: Al Lundeen, Mike Sicilia (916) 440-7259

California’s epidemic of pertussis (whooping cough) shows no signs of slowing, Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), warned today.  As of July 27, the number of illnesses from the disease this year had climbed to 2,174, a six-fold increase from the 349 illnesses reported for the same period last year.  In addition, a San Diego County infant has become the seventh to die from pertussis this year.

“The pertussis epidemic is a sobering and tragic reminder that diseases long thought controlled can return with a vengeance,” Horton said. “We can protect ourselves and the most vulnerable in our community by getting vaccinated today.”
California is on pace to have the most cases of pertussis reported in more than half a century.  Infants are having the highest rates at 1.1 case for every 1,000 infants.

“Because immunity from pertussis vaccine or disease wears off, Californians—especially family members and caregivers of infants—should make sure they get their shots,” Horton said.

In addition to the typical series of five childhood pertussis immunizations, CDPH recommends an adolescent-adult pertussis booster vaccine (Tdap) for everyone 10 years or older who has not yet received it, especially:
• women of childbearing age, before, during, or immediately after pregnancy, and
• other people, including household contacts, caregivers, and health care workers, who have contact with pregnant women or infants.

Children 7-9 years of age who did not receive all of their routine childhood shots are recommended to receive a Tdap booster dose.
The pertussis vaccination series can begin when an infant is 6 weeks of age. Infants, however, are not adequately protected until they received their first three shots by age 6 months. The series of shots that most children receive wears off by the time they reach middle school.

For new mothers and anyone with close contact with infants, CDPH is providing Tdap vaccine at birthing hospitals, community health centers, Native American health centers and local health departments.
A typical case of pertussis in children and adults starts with a cough and runny nose for one-to-two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes ends with a whooping sound. Fever is rare.

The diagnosis of pertussis is often delayed in young infants, whose are less likely to have a notable cough – caregivers and health care providers should consider the possibility of pertussis in infants with coughs or colds to help in prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Click to review the July 27, 2010 county-by-county rates.

Click to hear what pertussis (whooping cough) sounds like.

Negative Effects of Sleep Restriction May Linger Longer than Bed Hair

illustration of man sleeping
How many Z's does it take to catch up?

A study in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP suggests that a dose of extra sleep on the weekend may be good medicine for adults who repeatedly stay up too late or wake up too early during the workweek. However, even a night of 10 hours in bed may not be enough to cure the negative effects of chronic slee of p restriction.

Results show that neurobehavioral impairments such as increased lapses of attention and delayed reaction times accumulated across a period of five days when sleep was restricted to less than four hours per night. Behavioral, subjective and physiological measures of alertness improved significantly after a night of recovery sleep, with larger doses of sleep producing greater gains. Yet some neurobehavioral deficits continued to linger after the maximum recovery dose of 10 hours in bed, during which participants slept for an average of about nine hours. The study suggests that complete recovery from sustained sleep restriction may require even more sleep during one night or multiple nights of extended sleep.
“Recovery of alertness dimensions was remarkably dependent on the duration of the recovery time in bed,” said principal investigator David F. Dinges, PhD, director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry and chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. “However, the sleep restriction was severe enough that recovery of alertness was not complete following a single night of extended sleep, indicating a residual sleep debt remained. Lifestyles that involve chronic sleep restriction during the workweek and during days off work may result in continuing buildup of sleep pressure and in an increased likelihood of loss of alertness and increased errors.” Continue reading Negative Effects of Sleep Restriction May Linger Longer than Bed Hair